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Field Cut Flowers/Bulbs

Importance to Oregon

There are many different varieties of field flowers that are grown in the state of Oregon. The commercial flower industry is made up of 300 commercial growers with an earning of about $145 million worth of field cut flowers, potted flowers, and bedding plants.

History of Field Cut Flowers/Bulbs

Cut flowers and the production of cut flowers have a very well developed history dating back before the 1600’s. At this time, gardeners would simply cut the flowers from their gardens and bring them inside. It was in the 1600’s that formal cut flower production became an area of interest because of the development of greenhouses. The development of greenhouses began in the Netherlands. Greenhouses made their way to the United States when the European settlers relocated here. One set back for the cut flower industry was transportation and time sensitive delivery. Cut flowers must be kept in cool temperatures in order to maintain their shelf life. Once air transportation and refrigerated trucks were developed, the process of the field cut flowers was a much more efficient process for both producers and consumers.

Varieties of Field Cut Flowers/Bulbs

Peony

There are different species of peonies native to different parts of the world but the one grown in Oregon is the North American variety. This specific variety has large and very fragrant flowers that come in colors ranging from purple, pink, white, yellow and even red! The peony bloom period is only 7-10 days long. Peonies are one of the most common garden flowers in temperate regions such as Oregon.

Tulips

Tulips are a unique flower because of the shape of their petals. Most flower petals bloom out and open, but tulips have a cupped shape petal and stay fairly closed up. Tulip flower leaves are also unique in that they are long and parallel veined leaves. This is unique because most flower leaves are smaller and more round. Tulips can range in a variety of different color ranging from red, orange, yellow, purple, pink and white.

Iris

Iris plants come in a variety of different species. Of the species, 300 of them are native to the mild weather of the northern hemisphere. Iris plants are successful in well drained soils. The Iris plant goes through two different seasons, one being the growing season and the other being the dormant season. During the growing season, Iris plants need regular watering and during the dormant season there is no need for water.

Life Cycle of a Field Flower

Watch this very interesting and educational video about the life cycle of a flower from seed to plant!

In summary:

  • A seed is the beginning of a plant.
  • Roots begin to grow and will provide nutrients to the plant.
  • The sun allows the plant to go through photosynthesis which allows the plant to grow.
  • Flowers begin to bloom and butterflies and honey bees collect pollen from the flowers.
  • When the pollen goes from one flower to another, it will help the flowers produce seeds.
  • When the new seeds land in the soil they will go through this same process and turn into another garden of beautiful flowers.

Harvesting

A large portion of the Cut Flower industry in Oregon is made up of smaller flower farmers and producers. Watch this video to see how smaller producers might harvest and package their flowers!

In summary:

  • Flowers are grown in the greenhouse so they can be purchased all year round.
  • When you work in a greenhouse, you might have the job of checking rose bushes and harvesting the flowers that are ready.
  • The flowers are then put into a large bunch also known as a bouquet of flowers.
  • Sometimes leaves and stems are left on the flower and sometimes they are removed, this just depends on what the customer asks for.
  • The bouquet gets wrapped in plastic and is then ready to be sold in the store.
  • Flowers are kept in cold temperature storages, kind of like refrigerators, to ensure they stay beautiful on the shelf.

Pests and Disease

Field cut flowers are susceptible to any kind of chewing insect that can cause damage to the flowers and leaves.

Japanese Beetle

Japanese Beetle is one of the most aggressive pest that effects plants such as field cut flowers. The Japanese Beetle originated from Oregon as early as 1916 and producers still have to manage and eliminate this pest to this day. There is a policy in place in Oregon that this beetle must be eradicated before the breeding stage of development.

Botrytis blight

This fungus produces small yellow, orange, brown or red spots on the leaves, flowers and bulbs of plants. This fungus appears during rainy and humid weather. The spots grow together and cause the plants to turn slimy and covered in mold. The field cut flowers that are the most susceptible are tulips, dahlias and gladioluses.

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is a fungus that attacks different parts of flowers. In roses, powdery mildew will cause the leaves, buds and stems to be covered with a white powdery mildew. This fungus gets worse when the weather conditions are warm and humid. One way to avoid this fungus from killing your flowers is to remove all of the dead flowers in the spring.

Uses

Decorative Vases

Formal Wear Accessories

Decorative Wreath

Vocabulary Terms

Mild temperature climate. A temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit is a temperate climate.

A period of time when the plant is not growing or taking any essential nutrients from the ground.

AITC Resources

If you would like to take a look at any of the other books about flowers and plants please click the link below!
The Flower Alphabet Book

The Reason for a Flower